The idea of wearing weights has fascinated many, but it has also sparked curiosity among numerous regarding its usefulness. Are they really effective or only a gimmick of the fitness industry? If you have been thinking about this lately, then you are in a right place to find your answer.
I know the term 'wearable weights' has not resonated with every one of us quite a lot because like seriously it was always about lifting weight. But at the same time, they were embraced positively, and why shouldn’t they? The fitness industry like any other industry is evolving for quite some time now. Companies are introducing gym equipment to help their customers meet their fitness needs most efficiently. These companies have witnessed growth in their sales because there has been a spike of interest in home gym equipment. This means an increasing number of people are looking for gym equipment which they can also use in their homes. Isn't it right? Is this not what you are also looking forward to?
In this blog, I intend to talk specifically about the weighted vests from the category of wearable weights. It's handy, portable, and a great piece of equipment that you can buy and use at home. A weighted vest, unlike dumbbells or other free weights, is not something that you use for a solo workout. It must go in combination with other types of workouts so their intensity can be increased, and so thus the benefits.
Coming to the question, if a weighted vest will make your workout better, let’s find out the answer without further ado.
What is a Weighted Vest?
The curiosity is still there. What is a weighted vest? How much it weighs? Where does it hold the weight? I understand your mind must be spinning with plenty of questions, but you need not ponder more as I have answers to all your questions.
You must have seen a vest or may have one right in your closet. The weighted vest, to me at least, looks like an armoured vest. It goes above your head and settles right in the middle section of your body – the chest and abdomen. It has pockets around the vest, where goes the weight. It also means you can adjust the weight according to your body's needs by removing the extra weight from the vest.
A weighted vest hangs from the shoulders, with a wide strap that wraps around your middle to keep the vest in place. There are pockets for weights around the vest, which help you adjust the amount of weight you're wearing.
A weighted vest can accompany you on tracks if you are out for a walk. Now you can fight the loss of bone density with its help because the pressure it will put on your bones may stimulate the growth of new bone cells. By slipping on a weight vest, you won’t only reap the benefit of a strenuous walk, but you’ll be able to build new bone cells. Isn’t it a good reason to give this fitness equipment a try?
Word of Caution
Before moving forward, there is something that you must know before ordering your weighted vest. Buy one which should not exceed 10% of your total body weight. For instance, if your weight is around 150 pounds, go for the weighted vest, which is no more than 15 pounds.
Another point that you need to jot down is that it is not the right option for people who have neck or back issues. It will put pressure on your spine and if you are suffering from serious disc disintegration or any other spinal issue, it can aid in extending the problem up to your neck. I must say, take it as a warning if you fall in this category and keep your health above anything else.
If you are intending to buy the best-weighted vest available online, don't forget to check out the Xn8 Sports weighted vest. Available in three different colours and weights; the neoprene manufacturing makes them soft, breathable, comfy as well as heat resistant.
Why Training with Weighted Vest is Productive?
It makes you stronger and faster, builds stamina and endurance, and definitely increases resistance in your training session. With these traits to acquire, training with a weighted vest can prove super-rewarding for athletes or Olympic lifters. Especially if you are a gymnast and want to build explosive power plus strength, it can bring great benefits to you on squat or box jumps.
Research in this niche has mixed outcomes. Some studies have outcomes in the favour of training with a weighted vest because the additional resistance factor improves VO2 max, speed, and time to exhaustion. But some other studies suggest that training with a weighted vest does not necessarily deliver you the additional benefits. If you look at the greater body of research, you’ll realize that there were multiple variables at play such as weight used, duration/intensity/type of workout performed in the vest to say convincingly if weighted vests make the workout better or not.
Let’s set aside this science thing for a minute and discuss why trainers love this weighted equipment? Mainly for two reasons: the cardio factor and the bodyweight exercises.
Nothing will spike your heart rate quicker than wearing a weighted vest and climbing on a treadmill.
Vest loads weight directly to your upper body and shoulders, which means it specifically targets your respiratory muscles, which causes your heart rate to spike. Some people find it difficult to control their breathing when their heart rate fastens more than usual. But there is a plus point to it. When you learn to stay calm and focus on your breathing, you engage unconsciously in a mental exercise. This improves your autonomic nervous function, plus you learn to stimulate your parasympathetic system to check fight or flight response.
How to Train with Weighted Vest
Before throwing a vest on your body, fitness experts agree that you should master the basics.
If you are planning to hit the treadmill with a weighted vest on, then wait a minute and try this test. Run for five minutes on the treadmill as fast as you can, count your heartbeat, and don't move for one minute. You should be able to see 40 beats per minute drop in your heart rate. In the next minute, you should see another drop of around 25-30 heartbeats. If your count fails to match this criterion, work your way up before slipping on the vest.
If your heartbeat count is aligned to the counts mentioned above, you are good to start training with a weighted vest on. But start it very slow and lightly. For instance, take a long walk with the vest on. It will stimulate your upper back and trap muscles, and these muscle groups are the chief stabilizers in keeping the vest straight up.
If you are only looking forward to cardio conditioning, and want to increase speed and explosive movements, choose a weight that is 5% of your body weight, and then gradually build your stamina up to 10%. For low to moderate-intensity cardio training, you can wear the vest for the entire session.
Just keep in mind that whenever you wear a weighted vest and no matter what kind of workout you do, make sure that the rest periods in between the exercises must be a little longer. You won’t catch your breath as quickly as you may think that’s why don’t forget to rest to perform the repetitions efficiently. Plus, if you feel that your workout form is changing in between the exercises, take off the vest and finish the workout without it.
Can You Wear Weighted Vest for Whole Day?
Definitely not recommended. Excess of anything is harmful to your body and health. It is not logical to wear the vest all day because not only it will make you exceptionally tired but also can cause soreness of muscles in different parts of the body. Even if it happens that the vest hurts any of your muscles while exercising, immediately take it off. If you are a beginner, adjust your body to the wearable weight by starting with shorter bouts of 20 minutes or so.
Now that I've discussed in detail the weighted vest and the basic knowledge on how to wear it during your workout routine, I'm sure that you must have made your mind to buy one. This is a simple piece of equipment that will enhance the benefits of your workout by adding a bit more resistance element to it. You are more likely to start with a small amount of weight and then make your way up to build stamina, endurance, and stronger bones. You can find great quality weighted vests online from the Xn8 Sports website, which means you are only a click away from making your workouts more challenging for good.